How to Make Wood Floors Look New Again | Simple Ways To Restore The Original Shine and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links.

Wood floors are expensive, and they add a lot of value to your home when they’re in good condition. Even if you don’t have hardwood floors, you may want to consider installing them because they make any home look more luxurious. But what do you do if your wood floors start to look a bit worn? You can’t just replace them if they’re not completely worn.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make them look new again. You may not fix every issue, but you can quickly solve most problems with a few tricks. If you’re not happy with how your floors turn out, you can always call in a professional to help you out.

We have gathered some of the most effective methods for restoring your floors to their former glory. All you have to do is put in a little bit of elbow grease, and you’ll be admiring your newly revived wood floors in no time.

Things You Need to Refinish Hardwood Floors

Make sure that you have everything you need before you start working on your wood floors. Most of the materials required are available in hardware or home improvement stores. Here’s a list of the supplies you will most likely need:

  • A drop cloth to put down on the floor.
  • Stripper – This substance strips away old finishes and wood no longer attached to the floor.
  • A brush for applying stripper.
  • Rubber gloves – They will keep your hands safe from chemicals and prevent them from getting too dry. If you’re worried about having messy hands, bring a pair of vinyl gloves along with you.
  • Sandpaper – Use this to smooth down the floor.a bucket with cleaning products
  • Vacuum – It will help you clean up all the dust and debris that comes from sanding your floors. Before you do anything else, use a floor sweeper or vacuum your whole floor to pick up any loose dirt, hair, or other particles.
  • Wood stain – New stain can revitalize any wood floor by giving it a new color and protecting it from future damage.
  • Polyurethane – This is a sealant that will keep your floors looking new for years to come.
  • Paintbrush – You’ll need this to apply the polyurethane.

Now that you have all of your supplies, it’s time to get into how to make wood floors look new again.

Steps on How to Make Wood Floors Look New Again

The finish on laminated wood floors is very thin, so it’s very easy to damage them. If you’re not careful, you could easily scratch or dent the surface. If your floor starts to look a bit dull, you can try polishing it with the best floor polish and a soft cloth. Be sure to use a gentle circular motion, and don’t press too hard. If that doesn’t work, you can try using a wood floor cleaner. Just read the instructions carefully and test it on a small area first.

Here are the steps you need to take to restore your wood floors:

Determine what Kind of Hardwood Floor You Are Working On

Different types of wood flooring require extra care and maintenance. For example, engineered hardwood floors can handle water and heat better than solid wood floors. Solid wood flooring is the most traditional option, and it’s also the most expensive. There are plenty of pros and cons for both types of flooring that we won’t get into here, but you should know that these two options are very different.

Use a Stripper to Remove Tough Wood Floor Finish

If you have a solid wood floor, you can use a commercial stripper to remove old wax /Brown or shiny residue and stubborn dirt. Be careful when using this chemical, as it is highly flammable and toxic, so make sure to do your research before purchasing it. You can wear shoe covers for extra protection.

cleaning the wooden floor

Cover the Floor with a Waterproof Drop Cloth

Once you put down a drop cloth, you can start applying the stripper to your floor. Make sure that your floors are completely dry, and then apply a very thin coat of strippers. After about five minutes, use a nylon brush to work the chemicals into the wood grain. Leave the stripper on for about half an hour, and then use a wet-dry vacuum to suck up all of the liquid.

If your floors are covered in wax, you will need a scraper to remove them. You can buy a special scraper designed for this job, or you can use a putty knife. Be careful with this step – you want to avoid scratching your floor.

Sand Your Floors to Remove Stubborn Stains and Dents

Before you stain and finish your floors, you’ll need to sand them down and remove any stray particles left behind by the stripper. Use medium-grit sandpaper for most of this job, and switch to fine-grit sandpaper when you’re finished. Make sure to vacuum your entire floor after sanding, as there will be lots of dust and debris.

Apply a New Stain to the Floor

a person applying solution with a brush

After sanding, it’s time to apply a new stain to your hardwood floor. It will give your floor a fresh look, and it will also protect them from future damage. Please choose a color that you like, and make sure to test the stain on a small area of your floor before applying it to the entire floor.

Apply Polyurethane to the Floor

Once the stain is dry, you can apply a coat of polyurethane to your floors. A polyurethane finish will seal your hardwood floor and keep it looking new for years to come. Use a paintbrush to apply the polyurethane, and make sure to get it into all the cracks and crevices. Once you’ve applied the polyurethane, let your floor dry for at least four hours before walking on it. Enjoy your wooden floor!

How Can I Make My Hardwood Floors Look Better Without Refinishing?

Wood floors can last for decades if they are cared for properly, but they will start to look dull and worn out over time. Dull wood floors can result due to age and extensive foot traffic. You could probably bring them back to life by refinishing them yourself. However, before you do this, you must know what kind of hardwood floor you are working on, as the process for refinishing different types of wood flooring varies greatly.

If you installed your floors more than three years ago, or if they are covered in scratches and dents, then refinishing them might not be the best option. In this case, you can try to restore their original shine by applying a new coat of finish to them.

the dining room with a wooden floor

How To Restore Shine To Old Hardwood Floors

Before you refinish hardwood floors, it’s essential to know the type of wood your floors are made from. The following instructions are for bare wood floors, but you will need to find the appropriate refinishing instructions if you have a different floor.

  • Start by cleaning your floors with a wood cleaner. It removes any dirt and grime that has built up over time.
  • Next, use a steel wool pad for sanding the floors. Be careful not to rub too hard, or you might damage the wood.
  • After sanding, apply a wood conditioner to the floors. It helps to remove any built-up gunk and open up the wood’s pores.
  • After allowing this to sit for 10 minutes, you can use medium-grit sandpaper for sanding the floor again. This time, focus on more stubborn areas of dirt and grime.
  • Next, apply another coat of wood conditioner and let it sit for 10 minutes. After this has a chance to work, use a second coat of steel wool and sand the floors again with fine-grit sandpaper.
  • Once your floors are immaculate and slightly shiny, you can apply your first coat of finish. Choose a stain that matches the original color as closely as possible, and make sure to use it in even strokes.
  • Wait for the finish to dry, then apply a second coat. If you are not happy with the results, you can always use a third coat.

large living-room with wooden floor

What Brings The Shine Back To Hardwood Floors?

Over time, the finish on your hardwood floors will start to wear away, and they will lose their original shine. You can remedy the damage by applying a new coat of finish to the floors, but before doing this, it is crucial to determine the type of wood your floors are made from.

How to Make Old Hardwood Floors Shine Like New Without Refinishing

Refinishing hardwood floors is not the only way to make them shine like new. There are a few other methods that you can use to achieve the same effect.

Sweeping Your Floor Frequently

One way to make your hardwood floors shine is by sweeping them regularly. Sweeping will remove all the dirt and dust built up over time. You can use a broom or a vacuum cleaner, but make sure that you use the appropriate attachment that doesn’t damage the floors.

mop on the wooden floor

Washing Your Floor with Vinegar

Another way to make your hardwood floors shine is by washing them with vinegar. It ensures that all the built-up wax and dirt is removed, and it will also help get rid of any scratches or dents.

To wash your floors with vinegar:

  • Mix one-part vinegar with two parts water.
  • Saturate a cloth in the mixture and then wipe down your floors.
  • Rinse the floors with clean water afterwards.

Using Water and Soap

If you don’t have vinegar or it’s not compelling enough, you can also try to clean the floor with water and soap. Mix a small amount of dish soap with water, and then use a sponge or old towel to wipe down your floors. Rinse the floors with clean water.

Polishing Your Floor With Olive Oil

If you want to give your hardwood floors an additional shine and wonder how to polish hardwood floor, you can polish them with olive oil. Apply a generous amount of olive oil to your hands and then rub it into the floor, as if you were applying hand cream—buff off any excess oil with a dry cloth.

olive oil in bottles, a soap and towels


There are a few different ways to make your old hardwood floors shine like new. The best way to determine which method is suitable for you is trial and error. Try out a few different techniques and see which one gives you the best results. Flooring strips make the installation process for wood flooring much easier.

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